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Lucksmiths

Happy Secret

Drive In Records

Unfavorably compared to Belle and Sebastian, this Australian trio is far more talented than that simple comparison would indicate. On this 10 track compilation, they demonstrate why they may be Australia's best-kept pop secret. These songs range from pure pop masterpieces ("Untidy Towns") to splendid profiles in desire and yearning ("A Great Parker"). This all the more amazing considering that the band is a trio and that this album is really a handful of seven inches, compilation cuts and leftovers. In fact, this is better than most bands polished studio project.

   Moreover, not since the heyday of the Replacements and the unbridled wit of Paul Westerberg have I heard such clever plays on words. This album is full of songs that are earnest without being cloy and witty without being overly clever. For those of you who grew up enjoy the Smiths and wish for something more, there's Happy Secret .

Drive In Records, P.O. Box 888211, Grand Rapids MI

--Terry Eagan